As the year comes to an end, it's common to reflect on your career performance and satisfaction.
Maybe after years of commitment, you're experiencing a mid-career crisis at the office. Or, maybe you're concerned that after a lackluster year, you're on the verge of getting fired. And of course, there's always the hope that after another year of hard work, you'll finally get recognized with that promotion you deserve.
Regardless of where you find yourself, there are three key things you can start doing today to end the year on a high note and set yourself up with a more proactive approach to success in the New Year.
1. Document Your Wins
Spend some quality time identifying all your major victories from the past year. These are the big wins -- forward progress made, deals signed, money saved, relationships built, lessons learned, and more.
This is an important first step because it's easy to forget all that we've actually accomplished in a year, especially when we're always focused on the next thing. This process also allows us to step back and see the big picture of each month and quarter of the year so we can build a meaningful narrative of the work we do. Finally, when we document our wins, we create a track record of our work that we can share with our managers or add to our resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
2. Document Your Struggles
Most people solely focus on where things went right and where they experienced majors wins over the course of a year. However, to ignore where you struggled or where you might've failed would be a major mistake and a missed opportunity.
When we identify where we struggled or failed, we have the chance to ask ourselves a few valuable questions. What happened? What role did I play in it? What did I learn from this experience? This contributes to proactive learning and helps us ensure that we don't repeat the same mistakes again and again.
3. Schedule a Review With Your Manager
Even if you already had a formal review at your job, the end of the year is a great opportunity to schedule some time with your manager to discuss three key things.
First, share all of your major wins with your manager. This is a great way to remind them of all the good you bring to your role, department, and organization. Odds are that with their own busy workloads, they could use a refresher on all that you've accomplished.
Second, share a few keys areas where you struggled and what you learned from each experience. This will show humility and the willingness to learn from your failures.
Lastly, get clear on your manager's expectations of you in the new year and what success looks like. Share some of your goals, whether they include getting a raise, getting promoted, or achieving something else that's important to you.
When you take these three steps, you'll not only reinforce your wins and learnings from the year -- you'll also show your company how much you care so you stand out from the crowd all year long.